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[LUG] Mobile browsing, Firefox & Chrome - Google "Safe Browsing" ...


I guess this is something I missed a while back - but it's just become apparent this evening as I'm deliberately doing a lot of browsing on a slow (GPRS) mobile data connection for the purposes of some experiments.

I'm forcing firefox via a squid cache and noticed some POSTs going to google - even though I was no-where near google at the time, nor had any goggle extensions loaded into firefox - turns out they're loaded already as standard from ff3 onwards, and not easily turn-offable either - without going into about:config to disable them.

So while all this anti-phishing stuff is good, you're giving google a complete list of all URLs you ever visit... And sometimes copies of the pages themselves (according to the documentation). Only apparent as I saw them going through the squid log-file... My laptop now runs a bit faster (not much, but every bit helps at GPRS speeds!)

Also - Mobile data companies don't want you to use their data - so they like to compress images - and I thought they'd just do it on the proxys they force you through - turns out it's a bit more complex than that - they mutate the html you get off a remote web site in inject some javascript into it which then calls the proxy to get the images in compressed format... Ever see a reference to when mobile browsing? Look for bmi.js for the details and/or do a view-source on a simple web page next time you're mobile browsing (or tether your phone to a laptop if the phone browser won't let you view the source).

Not sure I like all of this though, but it seems to be a feature of todays interweb!


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